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KOI Clothing

Photos by Elissa Tauscher
Marketing senior Noah Chen models his own fashion line Koi Clothing.

by Kelly Kerrigan, Staff Writer

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A streetwear brand that promotes more than just fashion is beginning to make its appearance on campus. KOI Clothing, a streetwear brand created by marketing senior Noah Chen, puts the message of “knowledge over ignorance” into the clothing it creates. Although the message can seem simple, Chen expresses deeper meaning behind it.

What is KOI and what is the meaning behind the name?

“KOI Clothing is a streetwear brand that encourages you to experience and try out new things in order to gain more knowledge throughout one’s life. KOI is an acronym for ‘Knowledge Over Ignorance’ meaning that you shouldn’t be ignorant towards something, or anything really, especially if you haven’t even given that thing a chance or even tried it out. So that’s why when people wear my clothes I want them to want to go out and try to learn something that could enhance their own lifestyle. Also, koi fish are my favorite fish and are symbolic of wisdom and good fortune.”

Why did you create this brand?

“My inspiration for creating the brand was really just me noticing the lack of sympathy and respect for other people especially in today’s society with what’s happening in politics today. I’m not a political person at all but when I hear people arguing about one side or the other all I hear is ignorance towards the other side. I also am extremely picky about what I wear and got tired of not seeing things I liked so I decided to start designing my own clothes.”

What are your future goals for the company?

“My future goals are to be an established brand in San Diego and then move to LA and open a storefront there, as well as become more notorious as a designer, separate from the brand. I want (everyone) around the world to know who I am as well as my brand. Down the line, I also want to incorporate my brand into a multimedia company and work with the rap industry since that’s another important aspect of my life.”

How and why did you get involved in fashion?

“I’ve always been interested in fashion. I always cared about how I dressed in front of other people and loved to stand out in a crowd, but I really didn’t start studying brands until I got to college. I believe that the way you dress is important because that’s the first impression you give off when you first meet someone.”

Who and what are your greatest inspirations?

“My biggest inspirations are all a part of hip-hop culture. I look up to people like Kanye, Carti, Uzi, xxxtentacion, Rocky and Travis Scott. Their music and style kind of helps me visualize my designs in my head. As for designers, I like Ian Connor, Inq and Virgil Abloh since they all have a kind of dark and edgy twist to their clothing which is what I’m really into at the moment.”

Do you have any cool stories since creating the company?

“I’ve done some exposition shows in LA already for me as well as my brand and am starting to get in connection with some rappers about designing custom pieces. One company wanted me to design a whole collection for a fashion show put on by Vogue in either NYC, Paris, Milan or London, but I couldn’t afford it, so I had to turn it down. I am hoping to actually do it in the future though once I have enough money to do so.”

Find KOI clothing online at their website and follow the brand on Instagram @KOIClothing.

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